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Tim Sommers' occupation of Orient Road jail is called off listen

12/22/11 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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A judge ordered Occupy Tampa protester Tim Sommers released from jail this afternoon. Sommers was in custody most of this week. The presiding judge in his case revoked the activist’s bond during his arraignment on Monday. Occupy movement supporters were outraged with the ...

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Muslim Legal Fund for America seeks justice for disenfranchised Americans listen

12/05/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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When many Muslims-Americans are accused of heinous acts such as terrorism and aiding militant groups, some are deprived of their rights to a fair trial, and others are even held captive indefinitely in places like Guantanamo Bay. Sunday the Muslim Legal Fund for America held a benefit luncheon in Tampa. Khalil Meek is their executive director.

The Muslim Legal Fund for America (MLFA) isn’t a law firm, but it aims to p...

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Occupy Tampa still on sidewalk; have given up park for now listen

10/24/11 Seán Kinane & Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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Since the group began demonstrating more than four weeks ago, Occupy Tampa has been in search of a place to permanently camp. For fifteen nights now the group has occupied a roadside sidewalk near Curtis Hixon Park. On Saturday night some members of the group occupied part of that park. ...

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Al-Arian heads back to court asking for dismissal of criminal contempt listen

10/15/10 Samar Jarrah, Ahmed Bedier, and Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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Former USF professor Sami Al-Arian heads back to court later this month. A Tampa jury acquitted Al-Arian of a number of terrorism-related charges in December 2005 and did not reach a verdict on others. In order to avoid a re-trial, Al-Arian pleaded guilty the following year to nonviolent support to individuals the government claims are associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad. He was supposed to be deported, but was called to testify in an unrelated case in Virginia. Because his plea deal di...

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Singing for Liberty listen

04/19/10 Doris Norrito
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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It was a musical afternoon – no speeches, just a time to come together with the universal connector – music. Singing for Liberty was the theme, peace and justice the message played and sung by eight musical groups. One of the founders of Friends of Human Rights, Mel Underbakke, announced the first selection, a musical tribute to Sami Al-Arian. The former USF professor was acquitted of terrorism charges in 2005, but remains imprisoned under house arrest.

Singing for...

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Defense attorney Linda Moreno speaks out about client Aafia Siddiqui listen

02/16/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Earlier this month the US-educated Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui was convicted by a New York jury of attempted murder.

She was accused of shooting at, but not injuring, US forces while she was in custody in Afghanistan.

One of her defense attorneys, Linda Moreno, is best known to people in Tampa Bay for representing Sami Al-Arian.

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Sami Al-Arian to go on trial on contempt charges listen

01/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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A federal judge in Virginia ruled today that Sami Al-Arian should stand trial in March for criminal contempt.

The ruling was a blow to the former USF professor, who was released on bail by Judge Leonie Brinkema back in September after being incarcerated in numerous prisons and jails since his arrest in February 2003 on federal terrorism charges.

Mel Underbakke is with the group Friends of Human Rights. She says she was one of nearly two dozen supporters of Al-Arian from Tampa in the ...

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Esposito discusses religious differences listen

11/18/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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John Esposito is the founding director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, where he is a professor of religion, international affairs and Islamic studies.

Esposito was in Tampa on Saturday to address a banquet for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). WMNF spoke with Esposito and began by asking about his most recent book.

“…I’m certainly hopeful that the Al-Arian situation will be turned around.”

Photo by S...

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Al-Arian released from prison listen

09/03/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Yesterday Dr. Sami Al-Arian was released from custody for the first time in more than five years. Even though his criminal sentence ended 16 months ago, Al-Arian had been held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody since a federal judge ordered him released on bail in July.

WMNF spoke with Al-Arian’s daughter, freelance journalist Laila Al-Arian Tuesday night.

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Judge postpones Al-Arian trial

08/08/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday
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The next trial of former USF professor Sami Al-Arian has been postponed after a judge raised new doubts about the validity of the prosecution.

Al-Arian had been scheduled to go on trial next week in Virginia on contempt charges after refusing to testify to a federal grand jury about a case unrelated to his original terrorist related charges. But today, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema overruled prosecutors' objections and postponed the trial indefinitely. In doing so, she questioned w...

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